Blue Voodoo
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Blue Voodoo

Band Alternative Classic Rock

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"Blue Voodoo"

Blue Voodoo. Report by Goldie Rox. Photos by RockArtChicago.com < return to homepage I went to see a band called Blue Voodoo, a few weeks ago. I never even asked what style of music they play, I heard they were very good, and that was enough to make me curious. I enjoy seeing live bands almost every weekend and so I thought it would be fun to check out a band that I had no pre-conceived ideas about. All I knew for sure, was they were going to be playing mostly covers with a few originals.

We pulled into the parking lot of Bobby Magee's in Cresthill, and it appeared to be just a typical bar in a suburban strip mall, not too big, not too small. When we went in all I was hoping for was an enjoyable night of music. Of course I also hoped that I wouldn't have to stand all night long, the band had just started so there were a few seats left and we grabbed them, the room was pretty full. (Drinks weren't overpriced either, always a good thing.)

I could sense right away, that this 5 - piece was something special. I could also tell that they had been playing together for a long time, they were comfortable with each other, but not "goofing around, sloppy comfortable", they appeared very professional. As I later found out, this current line-up has been together over eight years, and it showed, a very tight band!

The two guitarists Todd Mares and Pete Amrein were each very good, and they took turns doing excellent leads. No "Battle of the Egos" here, they fit together well and seemed to really enjoy what they were playing. The talented Dan Jarnecke's keyboard abilities add a great deal to the huge sound of Blue Voodoo as did the hard hitting drumming of Todd Lopez. He slams the songs down your throat so hard, you feel them all the way to your core, and you can't help but move in time to the music till each song ends. It doesn't matter what your style of moving is: tapping your foot, dancing, or banging your head, it's impossible not to move when you hear this band.

One expects the front man and lead singer of a band to hold it all together and keep things moving, and not only does Kelly Cassa deliver, he is a really good bass player as well. Kelly has great stage presence, charisma, and an appealing voice that grabs your attention, and holds it. He appears at ease onstage with just the right mix of patter between songs, and good interaction with the audience. Blue Voodoo performed some of their original songs and there are some really good ones, with great catchy hooks, and strong lyrics.

So what kind of music do they play?? It's a hard rockin mix of mostly blues based rock and roll, and some classic rock too. They truly nailed the Texas/Southern Roadhouse type of Boogie blues like ZZ Top's "Bad and Nationwide", Lynryd Skynryd's "Simple Man", Pat Traver's "Snortin Whiskey & Drinkin Cocaine". They did John Fogerty classics like "Old Man Down the Road" and "Born on the Bayou", wailed on authentic blues by Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan , and Freddie King. There were a few classic rock slower jams by Aerosmith, Stones and Black Crowes, and many intensely crankin jams by Ted Nugent, Led Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, Blue Oyster Cult and Van Halen that feature famous guitar solos that were note for note perfection! They also played three of the most enduring crowd pleasers of all time, by AC/DC, "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution", "The Jack", and "Whole Lot of Rosie", the crowd went nuts on those.

These were just some of the highlights of the show for me, but then they finished up with one of my personal favorites by one of the best bands to ever walk on a stage, in my opinion…..Queen's, "Tie Your Mother Down", and I could have not been any happier! Then they did something that takes a LOT of guts, they covered Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child. Actually, they didn't just cover it, they truly made it theirs…that's all I can say.
Be sure to catch Blue Voodoo at Legends in Addison on Friday Feb 29. www.myspace.com/BlueVoodooChicago - Chicagosrock.com: Report by Goldie Rox


""Blue Voodoo You Do So Well: Band's Mojo Rising""

“Blue Voodoo band members recently achieved their personal dream -- one of their songs was played on the radio. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, not one of the five musicians heard it… Now with radio exposure added to their résumé, they are looking forward to bigger and better things to come. With a name like Blue Voodoo, one might not guess these musicians are all from St. Charles and Batavia. The band, which is made up of Kelly Cassa (lead vocals/bass), Dan Jarnecke (keyboard), Todd Lopez (drums), Pete Amrein (guitar) and Todd Mares (guitar), has been in existence for about 15 years, with slight variations in its lineup. Cassa and Jarnecke have been playing together since their freshman year at St. Charles High School, and the newest member, Todd Mares, joined about six years ago… On Aug. 21, Blue Voodoo was featured on 97.9 The Loop's "Halftime Show," hosted by radio personality Erin Carman, in the "Local Music Monday" segment. The song was "What Goes Around," which the band members says is their most popular original number. Since then, the band has been featured on the show's Web site www.wlup.com), along with 17 other bands showcased on the program. In addition to the radio exposure, they have had recent success at www.garageband.com, a Web site that allows artists to post their music with the understanding that they will judge music posted by other artists. Blue Voodoo currently has three songs on the site: "What Goes Around," "What I Don't Need," and "Still Can't Find." The band has won several awards on the Web site, including track of the week and track of the day. On the performance front, Blue Voodoo plays a lot of the pubs around St. Charles and Batavia. In addition to being regulars on the local music scene, Blue Voodoo has appeared as the opening act for Junior Wells, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Lonnie Brooks. Between performances and recent radio success, Blue Voodoo has had many memorable and exciting experiences, but the members are in unanimous agreement on the highlight of their career -- their performance at the wrap-up party for the HGTV Dream Home Give Away in Tyler, Texas…The band members recorded a compact disc a few weeks ago, which they hope to make available through their Web site this summer. Right now, one can check out the band and its music at www.bluevoodooband.net, www.myspace.com/bluevoodoochicago or www.garageband.com. …While Blue Voodoo has dreams of really cool tour buses and concerts at Madison Square Garden, right now the band members are looking forward to continuing to do what they love -- playing good music. ©2006 Liberty Suburban Chicago Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.
- Stephanie Malkus: The Republican Newspaper


"“Daze Craze Amazes”"

“The Loyal family of Geneva also enjoyed the Daze. Lori and Steve Loyal, both 39, said it was the not the first concert for their daughters, Jennifer, 8, and Jessica, 5. Last week, they attended Batavia's Art in Your Eye festival, which featured bands.
Jennifer Loyal said her favorite part of the festival was not the pizza the family munched, but the music.
"My favorite part is this song," Jessica Loyal said, pointing at Blue Voodoo and wiggling a little dance.” PAUL DAILING “Daze Craze Amazes” Publication Kane County Chronicle. Date, August 20, 2005 Section(s) Local News Page
- Paul Dailing: The Kane County Chronicle


"“Taste Lacked Flair for Fare Variety”"

“I was extremely pleased with the music at the Taste. The first band, Blue Voodoo, played a mixture of blues tunes and rock like AC/DC that seemed perfect for the event.”
Emily DeGeus Herald News, The (Joliet, IL) “Taste Lacked Flair for Fare Variety”
July 21, 2006
Section: SPECIAL TAB
Page: 6
- Emily DeGeus: The Herald News


Discography

What Goes Around received airplay on 97.9 The Loop, on August 21st, 2006.

ALBUM: "Your Ticket Out" Track 1: What I Don't Need 2: What Goes Around 3: I Want To Be Somebody 4: Soul Worn Thin 5: Still Can't Find What I'm Looking For 6: Smooth 7:Hard To Hide 8: Save Yourself 9: Bad Luck 10:Voodoo Man 11: Your Ticket Out

Photos

Bio

The city of Chicago has been extremely good to music. Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick, and John Mellencamp, have all been lifted into the spotlight by the Midwest music scene. Raised in the Fox Valley/Chicagoland area, the boys of Blue Voodoo have been well influenced by their predecessors and created a music style of their own to contribute to the area.

Kelly Cassa, Blue Voodoo’s lead vocalist, and other high school buds, formed the band back in high school with friends Dan Broyles and Charley Stanley. Eventually, Pete Amrein joined the band on guitar and Todd Lopez took the place of Charley, who went in another direction. A few years later, a tragic, deadly accident took the life of their friend and guitar player, Dan Broyles. The accident left the band emotionally crippled.

After some time off, Blue Voodoo found new strength and energy, and picked up Todd Mares on guitar, to complete the band’s new sound. Charged by Kelly’s emotion-filled lyrics and vocals, Blue Voodoo began to record their music and finish a CD with eleven originals, ranging from the blues to hard driving classic rock.

Although time has given Blue Voodoo tragedy, it has also given them promise. They have had the honor to share the stage with national touring artists like Lonnie Brooks, Junior Wells, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Dirty Dan Buck of the Boyzz. They have created a fan base all over the country thanks to the internet and radio, and are planning a CD release and tour in the summer of 2007. With time, the boys of Blue Voodoo will continue to share their music and follow the same path that lifted their influencers into musical legacies.